Date & Time

Thursday, July 28, 2022, 12:30 PM - 1:15 PM CDT


Creating accessible charts or diagrams involves both using accessible visual design in terms of color and legibility AND writing a text-based alternative desctriptions for a screen reader. Charts also need to be usable for individuals with different cognitive processing styles. This can seem daunting, but a workflow which provides good visual templates and a way to leverage the underlying data source for alternative “long descriptions” allow editors to more efficiently create well-designed charts and diagrams that are usable by everyone. 

The session will review different audience needs and relevant WCAG accessibility guidelines relating to color, information structure and alternative text. Simple strategies such as adding borders, textures and well-placed labels enhance chart legibility. We also discuss how to provide “long descriptions” more efficiently in tables and lists focusing on critical chart elements. Making these descriptions available to everyone also increases usability.

Learning outcomes

  • Describe different audience needs in using charts and diagrams.
  • List WCAG accessibility guidelines relating to the design of charts and diagrams.
  • Use color checking tools to determine if charts follow contrast guidelines.
  • Assess the usability of charts and diagrams in black and white and other color modes.
  • Analyze charts and diagrams to determine key information needed for an extended description.
  • Develop workflows to create effective long descriptions which could incorporate data tables or lists.


Intended audience
accessibility, content strategy, data/analytics, front-end development, SEO, integrated accessibility, assistive technology
(UTC-05:00) Central Time (US & Canada)